STROUDSBURG, MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU)— The foster care crisis is sweeping across the nation as an increased number of children are being placed into care.
One non-profit is making it their mission to provide resources to those looking to open up their home.
Hope, kindness, and love. The keys to The Kindness Project’s mission of helping the families and children in foster care.
With the cut of a ribbon Saturday afternoon, the Lehigh-Valley-based non-profit expanded to Stroudsburg for its opening of a new “Kindness Cottage’.
Providing free clothes, backpacks, cribs, and more to foster families, the founder told Eyewitness News the need is greater now more than ever.
“We are truly facing a crisis in foster care right now, there are not enough families. We are hoping that by providing all the things they need, it will allow more people to say yes to the idea of bringing kids into their home,” said Jenae Holtzhafer, the founder and Executive Director of the Kindness Project.
More than 150 children are currently in foster care in Monroe County.
“We need foster families, we need high-quality foster families. Those who are willing to work on transitioning children back home when their parents have met their goals. We need foster families who are willing to keep siblings together,” explained Diane Rogers, a program manager at Monroe County Children and Youth Services.
Of those in foster care is Ashley Baker. She’s now a volunteer with the non-profit and said she’s grateful for its resources.
“We’re here, we’re everywhere you go there’s going to be foster children. Sometimes we’re not seen or heard and they’ve been giving me the platform and giving all the other kids that platform to be seen and be heard so it really touches my heart,” Baker told Eyewitness News.
Tackling the operations of the kindness cottage, Elizabeth Johnson is also a foster parent and says the end goal is priceless.
“When you first have a kid come into your home they’re maybe going through some depression and sadness because they’re missing their family, but as you’re able to work with them and their family and see the healing come about, it really just brings joy to your life,” said Johnson.
For more information on becoming a foster parent, go to the Kindness Project’s website.